When illness is encountered, our first impulse is to consult our doctors. Rightly so, since they are the experts who know about the malady and what to do to treat it. But we shouldn’t stop there. With many diseases, lifestyle and mental health factors play a substantial role in both our vulnerability to the illness and how we will respond to treatment. This is probably never more true that in the case of diabetes. I am Dr. David Sabine, a clinical psychologist, and for the past two decades I have worked closely with people who are struggling with this disease. I have witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by poorly controlled diabetes – amputation, vision-loss, kidney failure and stroke.
What I have taken away from working with those patients is a sense of urgency to share with people who are diabetic or at risk for diabetes information about the psychological factors that bear so immediately and powerfully on their short- and long-term outcomes. Almost everyone knows the mantra, right? Diet and Exercise! Well, like many other things in life, both diet and exercise end up being complicated, rather than simple undertakings. But mastering both is critical. And beyond those core behavioral strategies there are a host of other considerations and practices that yield huge benefits – attitudinal factors and mindfulness training, meditation and assertiveness training, just to name a few.
So I was delighted when I was asked to contribute on a regular basis to this web-site as a consulting psychologist. And I look forward to the chance to share my passion for helping you overcome the sense of powerlessness that so often comes with this illness. In its place, we will install a new sense of power, of control, and consequently, of hope. Stay tuned. Much, much more to come.